Saturday, May 06, 2006

blair fires straw

The most surprising thing about the British cabinet shake-up after a very poor showing for Labor in local elections was that Tony Blair fired Jack Straw as foreign minister. Straw has gotten good reviews for his work, so what gives? I suspect it's because he has had the nerve to speak the truth about the possibility that the US might attack Iran if Iran doesn't stop working towards nuclear weapons. Straw has said he thinks a military attack is inconceivable, and that a nuclear strike would be "completely nuts," undermining the party line from de facto president Bush and Blair that all options are on the table.

If Blair is really considering supporting an attack against Iran, he really is insane. Blair needs to realize that there is a point where supporting an ally while that ally is doing something incredibly stupid and dangerous is not longer helpful or wise.

The conventional wisdom is that after 1956, when Eisenhower ordered Britain, France, and Israel to stop their attack on Egypt to seize the Suez Canal, British prime ministers have decided to never be on the opposite side of a major foreign policy issue from the United States. That's all well and good but Blair is taking it much too far. Joining in the Iraq War was bad enough. Supporting a Bush attack against Iran, or worse yet, actually participating in it, will NOT help the bombing on Iran go any better, will NOT significantly reduce America's isolation or global condemnation, and will only drag Britain into whatever the aftermath of such an attack might be.

Maybe it's time for Blair to go.